Happy birthday to my husband Bart, also known as Mr BG to previous readers of this blog.
He has had periods of obsession over the years- Lounge music, Jamaican Ska, Paleolithic archaeology, Genealogy all of which has eventually fizzled out. At the moment, it is Star Wars Lego.
Thanks to Lego Masters, the arrival of Disney+ in our life (which has brought more Star Wars to the house), and the period of enforced stay at home orders due to the COVID-19 crisis, this lifetime interest has become more intense over the last couple of months.
Kits have been reassembled, and our own shelves at home have been ‘reorganised’ to display the results. Shop shelves have been regularly canvassed and found quite bare, which has led us to eBay, and competitive bidding for minifigs of Ewoks. I know more about the vagaries of rare minifigs than I care to remember 🙂
On the plus side, it has been lovely to see Bart and my teenage son building Lego together on the weekends, and Bart arranging his sets on the shelves, moving the minifigs here and there. And there have been fewer Lego bricks on the floor compared to 10 years ago, for which my bare feet are thankful!
I stare at an ivy-covered fence and trellis from my window, which obscures the cream stuccoed wall of the house next door. The green is restful on the eyes, but I have found myself listening more to outside sounds during lockdown.
It has been quiet these last couple of months, compared to my office at work. There, I had the hum of traffic from outside my window and the sirens of the nearby fire station and ambulances zipping to the Ballarat Base Hospital just down the street.
Even when all of us were at home, we were pretty quiet during the work and school day, apart from the online meetings, which were periods of silence with the occasional statement from husband or daughter, or monosyllabic answer from son.
After work and school, we would have music, with Bart and teen son, playing and making music. Son has taught himself the guitar while in lockdown and has come along really well!
The hum of the heating has been present throughout my stay, as has the sound of power tools from a renovation happening two doors down the street. Tinkerbell, a little dog from two doors up has been making her presence known from persistent yaps as people walk past her house.
Things are beginning to wake up from the sounds I hear- the voices of little people from next door’s family daycare, the sound of the school bell from my children’s old primary school, and more traffic noise from the main street.
Paradoxically, it feels quieter during the day as I am the only one left at home. The solitude is nice, but it is a relief to see the family as they arrive in dribs and drabs back home.
My work from home space is known as the Red Room, with a tall ceiling, red walls, a huge fireplace- I think it was originally the kitchen at one point. It is where the ironing goes, as well as our music collection of CDs, and this guitar.
I am more of a music appreciator, rather than a player- the guitar belongs to Bart. The guitar is definitely a talking point of many a Zoom meeting and as a result, my work colleagues have come to know more about my life as the musically challenged wife of an indie pop legend.
The Lake in Ballarat parlance refers to Lake Wendouree, once natural wetlands converted into a lake for recreational purposes in the 1860s. It was the site of the rowing events for the 1956 Olympic Games and for many years has played a part in the annual Begonia Festival’s parade on Labour Day. It is quite shallow, and has been known to dry up and catch fire in times of drought- it is not a good place to hide a dead body.
There have been impromptu picnics with fish and chips on hot nights, visits to the farmer’s market, attending the Begonia Festival in the nearby Botanical Gardens, and the occasional lunch and dinner at one of the many cafes and restaurants that dot the surrounds.
I have walked, ran, or ridden round the Lake too many times to count, pushing a pram, or guiding a little person around on their first big ride, running with friends, or simply by myself, enjoying the stillness and the cold.